BHOPAL: Nearly 89 personnel of the Madhya Pradesh health department, including four IAS officers and a few doctors, who have been playing a vital role in the fight against COVID-19, have tested coronavirus positive in the state, an official said on Thursday.
Apart from them, around 40 policemen and their family members, have also been found infected by the deadly virus, the official said.
"Around 89 personnel of the health department, including four bureaucrats and a few doctors, mostly working in Bhopal, have tested coronavirus positive," the official said.
The IAS officers and the senior doctors were busy in planning strategies to combat COVID-19 when they must have contracted the infection, he added.
According to the official, majority of the health staffers must have got infected while treating the patients.
In Barwani, three health department employees have tested positive for the COVID-19, another official said.
A report from Gwalior also said that a nurse has tested positive for coronavirus in the city while treating COVID-19 patients.
Additional Director of Madhya Pradesh health department, Sapna Lovanshi, said that they have not collected this kind of data for the entire state so far.
The number of COVID-19 patients in the state reached 1,090 on Thursday as the test results have started pouring in at a fast pace, an official said.
Meanwhile, Rajya Sabha MP and senior lawyer Vivek Tankha termed the development of a large number of health department employees testing coronavirus positive as "gross negligence".
"The majority of persons infected by coronavirus (in Bhopal) are from the health department, which is nothing but an outcome of gross negligence of the officers of department in following the COVID-19 guidelines," he said.
Tankha also complained to the Madhya Pradesh Human Rights Commission (MPHRC) on the issue and also took strong objections to the reply given by the Bhopal collector on behalf of the chief secretary on the issue.
"The chief secretary was given the notice by the MPHRC on the issue and he should have replied to it instead of directing the collector to do so," the senior lawyer said.
Till Thursday morning, the number of coronavirus cases in Madhya Pradesh climbed to 1,090 while 55 persons succumbed to COVID-19 in the state so far, health officials said.
So far, 64 patients have recovered and returned home, they said.